Monday, September 08, 2014

Moments of Conception 095 -- The Village Scene from Romancing the Stone

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.

And so, in this new blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.

Today's clip comes from the village scene from Romancing the Stone:

What can we learn?

Keep adding to the collection. When you build a brand from the inside out, the market targets you. By creating enough good in the marketplace, you become the bullseye instead of the arrow. It’s a simple formula. The volume of daily output, multiplied by originality of brand voice, divided by time, raised to the power of consistency, equals new opportunities that find you through the attraction of working. It’s reverse target marketing, and it can only be created through incremental creative action. Let’s use the example of an graphic illustrator. She spends two hours a day, just drawing. Expanding her portfolio. Adding energy to the system. Staying with herself as the world orbits around her. Because she trusts that each time a new piece is published and added to her body of work, that’s one more brick in her foundation of experience. One more milestone passed. One more notch in her legacy belt. One more potential brand touch. One more extension of her sentiments. The accumulation of which eventually kicks open the door of opportunity. The painful part is, art takes a long time to pay for itself. There’s no accounting for timing. Life has a mind of its own. Sometimes the door of opportunity doesn’t swing open until we’re stranded in a third world country with a gun to our heads. And so, all we can do is keep working. Keep interest up on a mass scale, and keep putting things up on the shelf. What did you create today?

The outflow is out of our control. Joan never could have foreseen having a loyal fan base in a small village south of the equator. But that’s the experience of being a writer. Your creative river reaches places its source never knows. Which can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on your mindset. The ambient pressure of not knowing can be inspiring, but it can also spark internal panic. The process of anchoring what you create to probability can be an exhilarating dance, but it can also be profoundly exhausting. The daily shot into eternity can become beautiful horizon to point to, but it can also feel like you’re just winking in the dark. And so, it’s another exercise in trusting the process. Not waiting, necessarily, since waiting is remarkably taxing and provokes anxiety. But becoming at ease with the state of not knowing. Believing against all odds and all evidence that when the rivers of creative water flow out of us, they will reach in blessing to even the ends of the earth, regardless of how small the visible effects may be. Are you giving up the moment before the miracle shows up?

Take your truth direct to market. Anything that’s a barrier to getting our work in people’s hands is a problem. The goal as creators is to build as many bridges as possible between us and our audience. What’s charming about this movie is, back in the eighties, authors had less to worry about. Joan wasn’t laying in bed with desperation etched on her face, obsessively checking email on her phone, stressing herself out over distribution conundrums. She just wrote the books and got on with her life. Thirty years later, however, the marketplace is a little different. I recently released a series of eight digital books on the same day. But when the evil forces of technology decide to screw up my launch, I had to find a way to offer a standby version of my books until the problem was resolved. The experience was infuriating, but it taught me a valuable lesson about giving people something to nosh on while you’re scrambling in the kitchen. I learned that by intentionally creating this service event, I could deliver bonus value and come out stronger than if nothing happened. How will you bridge the gap that exists between you and your potential audience?

What did you learn?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2014-2015.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!